Mainroad Lower Mainland Contracting is preparing for another winter of highway maintenance. (File)

Mainroad Lower Mainland Contracting is preparing for another winter of highway maintenance. (File)

Lower Mainland highway crews prepare for a winter of heavy rain, wind

Mainroad Group gets ready for predicted ‘El Nino’ winter

As the days grow shorter and the weather becomes colder, crews are preparing to keep the Lower Mainland’s highways safe for winter driving.

Mainroad Group, the company contracted to maintain provincial highways in the Lower Mainland, is responsible for 1,430 km of provincial highway lanes.

General manager Darren Ell said an “El Nino” winter is forecasted this year, so “we’re not expecting as much freezing or snow conditions as we have in the last few years.” However, as anything is possible, crews will remain ready around the clock to “tackle those conditions as they occur.”

A warmer winter season brings with it other risks, such as heavy rainfall and high wind conditions. Mainroad crews will be monitoring drainage systems to ensure water is flowing off the highway, and checking on areas where trees may be more prone to wind damage in order to clean up vegetation as it comes down.

If a motorist sees a hazard on a provincial highway, they can call Mainroad’s 24/7 communication office at 604-271-0337 to report it to maintenance crews.

Should snow and freezing rain come despite predictions, Mainroad is well-stocked. Among the four separate salt depots they hold in the Lower Mainland, they have 2,000 tonnes of salt stored. Ell added that, should it come to it, their supplier has an additional 60,000 tonnes set aside. “We’ve never had salt issues in the past,” he said.

This year, Mainroad has brought back the tow-plow, which is pulled behind a standard plow truck. It’s much more effective than the standard machine, Ell explained. A standard plow clears 3/4 of a lane, and a tow-plow can clear two lanes of traffic at once.

Ell also warned motorists to expect more echelon plowing — when several plows clear the highway in a staggered line — as it allows crews to clear more lanes with less vehicles, making it more efficient. Ell reminded drivers to “be patient” and to not attempt to pass the plows.

“Let the plow do its job,” he said. “Stay back.”

Tips on sharing the road with snow plows:

  • Maintain a safe following distance. Remember that snow plows have limited visibility — operators can’t see directly behind their vehicles.
  • If two or more snow plows are clearing multiple lanes on a highway, do not try to pass. When you try to pass, you are putting yourself, the plow operators and other vehicles on the road at risk.
  • Remember that the road in front of the plow hasn’t been plowed yet. Slow down and be patient. When it is safe to do so, the snow plow will pull over and let you pass.

For more safety tips on winter driving, motorists can go to shiftintowinter.ca.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Food For the Soul is taking part in the Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser.
New Maple Ridge charity hosts Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser

Food For the Soul will host annual event that has moved online for 2021

The City of Pitt Meadows is one of 26 communities in B.C. to receive assistance as part of the Housing Needs Report program. (The News files)
Pitt Meadows receives 30K from province to assess housing needs

City CAO Mark Roberts said funding will help provide important tool to identify housing gaps

Ridge Meadows RCMP Insp. Wendy Mehat. (Black Press files)
Insp. Mehat officer in charge of Ridge Meadows Detachment

Takes over for Jennifer Hyland, who has gone to new Surrey Police Service

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) is looking into the death of man discovered Jan. 11 in east Maple Ridge. (Black Press files)
B.C.’s police watchdog investigating man’s death in Maple Ridge

Man was found dead Jan. 11 after recent contact with police

Staff at Bruce’s Country Market are being asked to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 after an exposure at the Maple Ridge grocery store. (The News files)
Employee at Maple Ridge grocery store tests positive for COVID-19

All other staff in the department have tested negative for disease

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

ICBC has seen savings on crash and injury claims in the COVID-19 pandemic, with traffic on B.C. roads reduced. (Penticton Western News)
ICBC opens online calculator for rate savings starting in May

Bypassing courts expected to save 20% on average

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
16% boom predicted for B.C. real estate sales in 2021: experts

Along with sales, the average price of homes is also predicted to rise, by nearly 8 percent

The trial of Harry Richardson began Monday at the Nelson courthouse. File photo
Trial of man accused of shooting RCMP officer in West Kootenay in 2019 begins

Harry Richardson is facing five charges in a Nelson courtroom

FILE – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers his opening remarks at a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine CEO ‘very, very clear’ that Canada’s contracts will be honoured: Trudeau

Trudeau says he spoke to Moderna CEO on the morning of Jan. 26

Brad Windsor has been an advocate for years to get sidewalks installed along Milburn Drive in Colwood, but to no avail. He wants city council to commit to making Milburn a priority lane for sidewalk construction in the future. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Dramatic crash caught on B.C. home security camera

Angry residents say video highlights need for sidewalks in B.C. residential neighbourhood

An independent review is underway at the Royal BC Museum after employees called out systemic, individual racism at the institution. (Twitter/RBCM)
Royal BC Museum faces allegations of systemic racism, toxic work environment

Formal investigation, survey and training launched at museum

In this May 23, 2012, file photo, an approximately 2-year-old female cougar runs away from a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife trap after being released northeast of Arlington, Wash. A cougar has attacked and severely mauled a man in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Mark Mulligan/The Daily Herald via AP
Cougar euthanized in B.C. after severely mauling a man north of Vancouver

Whistler RCMP officers were first on the scene and shot and killed a cougar prowling nearby

Most Read